   Chapter 29, Problem 47PE

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Construct Your Own ProblemConsider a space sail such as mentioned in Example 29.5 Construct a problem in which you calculate the light pressure on the sail in N/m2 produced by reflecting sunlight. Also calculate the force that could be produced and how much effect that would have on a spacecraft. Among the things to be considered are the intensity of sunlight, its average wavelength, the number of photons per square meter this implies, the area of the space sail, and the mass of the system being accelerated.

To determine

The light pressure on the sail produced by the reflecting sunlight and the force exerted on the sail.

Explanation

Formula used:

The expression for the force exerted on the sail is given as,

F=PcF=IAc        ...... (1)

The expression for the pressure on the sail is,

Psail=FA       ...... (2)

Calculation:

Consider a sail of area6.0×105m2and mass5.0×103kgis placed in an orbit facing the sun. The intensity of the sunlight is1370W/m2.

Substitute the values in equation (1) to calculate the force.

F=(1370W/m2)×(6.0×105m2)3×108m/sF=2

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